Saturday, August 29, 2009

You met her WHERE?

I've decided that true friends and true loves are unusual creatures.

In some ways they're like real wizards, or unicorns - no, not that they're impossibly mythical, but that they're not easy to find. Its not that they aren't there - really, there ARE good men out there! - it's just that they aren't common.

Then again, would you really want them to be? A true gem, a diamond of the first water as our Regency gents would call it, is rare. So is a true friend. Or a real, honest to goodness loyal, loving life partner.

Nope. Not common.

It's kind of like a recessive trait. I have Dalmatians. I love them for their humor, their active minds, and their amazing coloration. Liver-colored Dalmatians are less common than black and white ones. Liver's a recessive gene. Beautiful. Unusual, but not unheard of.

Kinda like true love or a loyal best friend.

I started thinking about all this when a friend told me about her first and best friend. The BFF had gotten very sick and my friend had gone to help. She flew to Rhode Island from Illinois. She stayed a week. She got her BFF's kids to school. She made casseroles, made sure the BFF's husband could stay at the hospital with his wife. When she left, she left food in the fridge, gas in the car, flowers on the bedside table and a "love-ya-get-well-be-happy" card with them so when her friend came home, she'd have something fun waiting for her.

I was so admiring, not only of the length of the friendship, but of the lengths to which she'd go for her friend. She told me they were like sisters. Neither of them had a blood sister, only brothers, so they'd gravitated to one another in school and through the long years, nothing had changed that sense of sisterhood.

Since I have a sister whom I adore, and a long history with her, (grins) I guess I'd never felt that way about a gal-pal, at least not early on.

I don't have a friend I've known since kindergarten and it made me a bit sad to realize it. It reminded me that there are people from those years I'd love to reconnect with. Alas, even Facebook hasn't helped on that one! But it probably will, one day.

I do keep up with two friends from my high school years, but it seems a slim bit of a friend load when my husband has a legion of pals from those days. Maybe it was the organized sport thing? I don't know. I was a misfit in high school, so it's probably not surprising that the misfit club I belonged to hasn't kept up.

College was a blur. Really. And I see you laughing...it WASN"T because of the beerfests. I went to college in a dry county. For those of you raised outside the South, that means they don't sell alcohol ANYWHERE in the entire county. Let's just say the next town over was verrrrrry popular with my college pals.

That said, time just flew by while I was in the mountains of NC, matriculating. I think time flies now that I have kids, but I remember actually wishing time would slow down in college. Needless to say, it didn't.

I keep up with four or five people from college. Ironically, not my roommate. Nor my college sweetheart. (On reflection, that's probably a really GOOD thing!)

So all this got me to thinking, and you know how dangerous that is.

I began to wonder what changed for me. When did I start gathering the REAL friends. The women who now inhabit my life and make it sane, make it fun, make it grow and expand. When did the Women Who Make Me Laugh, the Women With Whom I Connect come to be part of my life?

Who are my true, now-BFFs and how did I meet them?

One of my BFFs is an intuitive counselor (a counselor who's a psychic) and started out as my grief counselor when my mother passed away. Then I went to work for her. Then we became fast friends. (I'm not just a client, I'm a pal!) She's a friend. A fellow writer. A confident extraordinaire.

Another, long time BFF was in my Rotary club. You can only imagine how much fun we had with that. We worked for rival banks for a while. Equally amusing - though not to our bosses. She threw an engagement party for me when I got engaged to a guy I didn't marry. She hated him. She did it anyway, 'cause she felt it was the right thing to do. That's what you do for your BFF. (Thank heavens I didn't marry that guy!) Needless to say, she was relieved when I met my DH. She was one of my two bridesmaids.

One cool BFF I met over home reno's, dogs and marketing brochures. She had Keeshonds. I had Dalmatians. Somehow, we worked that out. Ha! We painted together, stripped tables, hung wallpaper. We still trade decorating secrets.

Decorating's the profession of another of my BFFs. I met her at church. We went to church in our "new" city of DC on the same Sunday. We both joined the pitiful choir (1 bass, 1 tenor, 2 altos, 2 sopranos) and managed to forge a friendship that's lasted for more than twelve years. Carrying that chior on our shoulders was a real bonding experience, fer sher.

Then there's the BFF I met in line at the welcome reception at the Denver RWA conference. We've been best buds since then. We've traveled together, roomed together at Nationals and locals, we've scrapbooked together, laughed, cried and grown as women and as writers because we're friends. She was the third person I told when I found out I finally managed to get pregs with my second child. (She'd actually figured it out because I ordered black beans at dinner. She knows I despise black beans, in general. Ha!) She's one of the first I call or email with news or triumphs or for advice. She's pure gold.

Another pal, confident, friend and fellow Mom is from my neighborhood. We trade kid stories. Dog advice. We watch one another's houses for vacations, we take care of one another's pets for days and weeks. We have barbeques and dinners together. Our kids make s'mores together, swim together and go trick or treating together. We walk our kids to school together.

Then there's the Romance Bandits. Legends in present time. Grins. Meeting for the first time - and in several cases NOT meeting - as 2006 Golden Heart Finalists. Who could ask for a better cadre of BFFs? When we decided to start the blog together, some of us had still not met in person. What started out as a "Hey, let's try this out and see..." has become what another pal of mine calls A Force Of Nature. Heehee. I love thinking of the Romance Bandits as a force of nature. Nice image.

It seems I've met more of the lasting kind of friends since I started writing.

Some of my writers pals I've met in surprising ways - online, in classes, at the grocery store, in the bar. (Imagine THAT?!?!)

I've met tons of fast friends in my local chapter, what a great group of women and men THAT is! Gotta love the Washington Romance Writers.

Of course, there are some other really great writer pals I've met online too. I met Becke Martin here, and just met her in person at National this year. *waving at Becke* Becke and I are having a great time hanging out at the Barnes and Noble.com Mystery Bookclub. A bunch of ya'll have stopped by, so thank you!!!

And there's Keira, who's off visiting castles. And PJ, and Gannon, and Limecello, Jane, Buffie....the list goes on and on and on! How cool is that? What a blessing the Romance Bandits have been in terms of friends! You're never lonely at National if you know the Banditas that for sure. I ran into Bandits, BB's and folks who've guested with us EVERYWHERE. It was great.

I have a new BFF-in-the-making. She's another writer - imagine that! - and one I've admired for quite a while. We have a lot in common and have been laughing our arses off when we talk. That's a BFF in the making, right there.

What about you? Do you have a BFF that you've had "for-evah"?

Did you meet any of your friends in unusual ways? In court or on jury duty? Skydiving? Scrapbooking? Here?


What about your spouse?

I met my marvelous husband at a party. It was a set up, but I didn't know it. I'm thrilled now, but at the time? I was SO ticked to learn that the only reason for the party was to set this date up. I had sworn off dating you see...

One of my friends met her husband online. Another met hers at Karate. Yet another met hers at a fraternity/sorority dinner, but she was with someone else. They waited until the Brother she was dating left the house and campus before they felt they "could" date. They've been together for nearly 30 years now. Wow.

What about your BF, Spouse or just that "special" guy you had a great time with? Any fun stories on how you met?

Time to dish, ladies!

66 comments:

limecello said...

!

limecello said...

What a lovely post, Jeanne - and thanks for the shout out :D
I'm a singleton, so I guess I have to talk about friends. (Who say I'm too picky and don't/have no luck in setting me up) :P

Some of my friends, have been my friends literally since I was born. (Our parents were friends.) There are about... 5 people like that. We keep in touch sporadically and live rather different lives, but we still generally spend the major holidays together, and random weekends when everyone is home. (The extended group is... oh ~10 people? The "newer" friends are the ones I've known since I was 2-3 :P Our actual extended families are all too far away.)
I try to catch up with someone I've known since I was four - we were neighbors- so we were bound to be friends. I still keep up with some friends from elementary/middle school, but not many. Same with high school, and college. (Though the main purpose of my trip to NYC was to visit college friends.) And professional school. (Though that's another story.)

And yes - it is hard to find "forever" friends. Sometimes keeping in touch is difficult, but it's nice to know you can still randomly have a 2 hour phone call even though you haven't spoken in a year or two. (Although it's equally sad when there's someone who you consider a best friend, and the relationship can't survive a minor conflict.)

A lot of food for thought - and I enjoyed this post :) (I also can't believe I didn't know until earlier today that Kiera is going to Germany! Yes, I'm totally oblivious. And jealous!)

limecello said...

... and since my second comment was so incredibly longwinded, I'll wind it up with a third.

I think I met most of my friends at home. Some in the same preschool, or the gifted class in elementary school/middle school. Classes, are where I met a lot of people. For college, it was student orgs, or friends of friends. Lots of networking.

flchen1 said...

Woo! You and GR are pretty tight, too ;) Congrats!

Jeanne, my ultimate BFF is my sister, so I've definitely known her 4-evah! :D Most of my other close friends are from church or other moms of my kids' friends. I have a couple friends I'm still in touch with from the early days (i.e., we blew raspberries at each other during preschool), but we don't keep in close touch. I first met my husband when I was leading a tour during new student orientation week at school--I didn't remember this meeting, but we met again later in the year :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lime! You're BFF - or is it GoldenFriend? - has returned to you. Grins.

Wow on the knowing people forever, as in before you were born. Wow. I know what you mean about friends from "home" too. That's really cool.

And unfortunatley, I know what you mean about a BFF whose friendship is more tenuous than you ever imagined, in that a minor disagreement can sever years of sharing and caring.

Sad but true.

Then there are those good ones who, as you say, you can pick right up where you left off, even if it's been a year since you spoke. I reconnected with a friend like that recently. After two hours on the phone, we'd caught up the 2 years we'd missed and were into the "now" - it was fabulous.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Fedora! Another night-owl. :>

How cool that your Sis is your BFF. Mine is too. We're really different in so many ways, but nobody "gets" me like she does. No one's more supportive, or combative if she thinks something's wrong. No one has my back like she does. It's pretty cool.

Also cool is that you met your hubby in orientation. :>

Virginia said...

Congrats lime on the rooster today!

I met my BF when we where five years old and we met through our parents. We grew up together and stay at each others houses all the time, we are like sisters. All the way through school and everything, now we don't see each other as much because we have our own lifes but we still keep in touch. We live in different places now but we still meet every now and then and do lunch!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Virginia, another long-time-BFF gal! I so admire that. :>

Is it just as if you've never been apart when you do get together?

Helen said...

Congrats limecello he does love being at your place enjoy your day with him

Jeanne what a lovely post where would we be with out best friends. My best friend lives a couple of doors away and I met her after she moved into her house about a year after we moved into ours so we have known each other for about 30 years we look after each others houses when either of us are away and whenever either of us needs shoulder to cry on or a good laugh we are there for each other I don't know what I would do without Barbara. Unfortunatly I have grown apart from my friends from school although I often think about them and wonder what they are doing I still get Chrissy cards from a few so we keep in touch once a year. Of course I have my 3 sisters whom I am very close to and I have some fantastic friends at work who I couldn't do without.

Then of course I have made the bestest friends here on the internet namely all the Romance Bandits and BB's I love coming here everyday and hearing about all that is happening and a lot of them are my friends on facebook as well love you all.

Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

Sniff...sniff...more kleenex please!

We moved around a bit when I was young so I can't say that I've maintained a lot of those friendships. Just recently reconnected with some friends from high school. My BFFs are mostly writer friends - but as I've been writing for so long...they've been friends for a long time. We share that passion, you know? I also have some best friend couples. THe group of us get together every couple of months and we've maintained that schedule for the last twenty years or so. Probably has something to do with the copious quantities of wine we've consumed (grin).

Husbands - I met mine in a bar. I'd gone to visit my college roommate who lived 300 miles away. We went out dancing and I met this guy. We talked a good portion of the night and then he sent me a letter. We wrote each other (pre-personal computers)and visited when we could for two years before we married.

Of course our whole bandita family is a blessing that I'll always cherish. (sniff..sniff..darn - there I go again...)

Tawny said...

Ahh, Jeanne, what a lovely post :-) My BFF is Beth, so that's easily traced. I love her to pieces, and have since we started out together a trillion years ago.

I met my husband in high school. He unlocked my keys from my car. I met him again a few years later when my youngest brother (best friends with his youngest brother) tried to set us up. Third time's the charm, though. I saw him awhile later at the bank and lights flashed, bells dinged and I yelled across the parking lot, "Hey!" We were married 9 months later.

Terry Odell said...

I met my husband when I was taking a bio class at UCLA and he was the TA. There were only 3 females in the lab group, and the other two were involved with other guys.

We just celebrated our 40th anniversary on Monday.

Joan said...

BFF's

Lime and the GR...

Great post, Duchesse.

I have one BFF that I've had since 6th grade. She lived one street over from me and we went through school together. The thread of friendship began as a filament and over the years has spun into a solid, braided cord.

In fact, we are going on a girlfriend's weekend in a couple of weeks to Savannah. She's into planning while I just want to hang and look at all the history.

She's neat. I'm a not.

Another BFF I also found at the Denver RWA. She recognized me as being from our church. Ends up, she lives less than 4 miles from me.

She's elegant and sophisticated.

I'm not.

But I'd do anything for her despite her amazement that anyone would.

One of my BFF's is from work at the hospital. This BFF can make me laugh like few can. She's a bit older than I and so has functioned as the older sister offering her wisdom and insights when I need them most. She's the one into whose arms a I sobbed when I realized the time for being able to have children had passed.

And then yeah...the Banditas. Wow...

Seriously, words cannot express this bond, this energy that infuses me as a writer and a friend.

And the Banditas brought us so many wonderful BB's who really...have become family.

PJ. She can make turtles. I can't

:-)

One of my more insightful moments about BFF's came when my father passed. I realized then...that every friend I have brings different strengths, different perspectives that help me at different stages of life.

{Raising a glass of sangria} Here's to all the BFF's!

Kirsten said...

Jeanne, I am supposed to be deep DEEP in the writing cave (eek! how does it end? I have no idea! panic! panic!) but I had to peek out for your awesome post.

I have a BFF that I met when I was 2 1/2. She and I were best friends until she moved away -- across the country -- when we were 8. But then she came back! When I was 12, she moved back to our town and we picked up right where we left off. In high school she moved again, this time out to the suburbs. But you know what, we STAYED BFs. Today, we pass the occasional email and visit when our schedules land us in the same town. We're both lawyers. We both work part time so we can have more time with our two kids. We're so alike and so different and we will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be best friends.

I'm also lucky enough to have a cadre of amazing women that I met in college that I lived with my senior year and will always be my bosom friends. BFF doesn't really describe it. They are sisters of my heart.

Not to diminish new friends, like the ones I met in law school, or the ones I've met on-line (the fabulous Banditas!) or even the woman-who-keeps-me-sane-and-pulls-me-out-of-the-pit-of-despair (Susan!) -- but there's something incredible about having a decades-old shared history. The deep bonds I've got with these women are something for which I am infinitely grateful. I feel very blessed to have them still in my life.

Thanks for letting me out of the cave to think about how lucky I am! Big kisses as I run back into the darkness! Mwah! Mwah!

Joan said...

but there's something incredible about having a decades-old shared history.

Indeed there is, Kirsten.....

Mary and I survived {deep voice}

Sr. Eugenia!!!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Helen! How lovely that you and your neighbor have been friends for 30 years!! Wow. I love too, that you and your sisters are close.

We love you too, Helen! You're a bright spot in our day. Its always wonderful to hear about your doings, your grandchildren and all your journeys around the net.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*passing the kleenex* Here Donna. It's the wine. Does it to me all the time. Grins.

I taught a class once and had a guy in it that piped up and asked, "What is it about you writers and wine?"

I gave him a disdainful look and told him it wasn't the wine, it was the company. Ha! Seriously, we all joke about meeting in the bar, but it isn't to drink, much to the bartender's dismay. It's to connect. How cool that you've been connected to your writer pals for so long.

I always love that you met your DH in a bar. I think that's great. Pretty romantic too, about the letters. I guess that's why he's so supportive of your work - he's a man of letters!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawny, you yelled at him across the parking lot? And that worked? Grins. Having met James, I now recommend to all single ladies, yelling across the parking lot. Hahaha! Seriously that's a great beginning to a fabulous relationship.

You and Beth are the coolest pals. I know you've known one another forever, but how did you two meet? Hook up as writers first or friends first?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Terry! What a wonderful story!! I love that. "Well, we're both single, we have to take/teach this bio class..."

And the rest is history. Or biology. Or love. Grins.

HUGE congrats on 40 years together. Having met my darling DH a little older, I'm hoping that 40 years sees us still kickin! (and married!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good Morning, oh Goddess Sangria! What a lovely tribute to your BFFs!

Isn't it funny how different we can be and still be best pals? One of my BFFs is a vegetarian. I'm a meatatarian. Ha! Another is a complete "everything in its place" person. I'm SO not.

Still we make it work.

I love that you have such a wonderful range of friends and I'm jealous of the trip to Savannah! It's a great city and you are going to love it, beyond the library, I promise.

And yes, PJ CAN make turtles. Yummmmm.

How funny that you went all the way to Denver to meet a writer 4 miles away. I felt that same way about my BFF that I met there. She was more than 4 miles away, but wow, what a great friend she's become.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Mwah! Mwah! right back Kirsten! Have blissfully productive time in the cave!!

You said: there's something incredible about having a decades-old shared history. The deep bonds I've got with these women are something for which I am infinitely grateful. I feel very blessed to have them still in my life.

THIS is the thing. I just love this. And envy it a bit. Only one of those BFFs I mentioned have I known for two decades. That shared history is just....marvelous.

I loved that your BFF moved back! How cool is that?

And you and Susan are such lovely pals. And Tawny and Beth. I love that our Banditas were pals before GH and GH'd together. What a treat!

Here, another MWAH! to keep you company in the cave.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: Mary and I survived {deep voice} Sr. Eugenia!!!!!

Oh. My. Had to LOL over this one, esp. the deep announcer voice. Hahah!

Catholic school will bring women and girls together against the Sisterly "machine" won't it? Heehee!

jo robertson said...

Great post, Jeanne! Made me think of that old round song -- "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."

Am I the only one old enough to remember that?

My best friend is a woman I taught with for 15 years. She's the best teacher I've ever know, but beyond that, she and I have always been able to create a special kind of synergy, whether we're creating lesson plans or talking about writing.

We couldn't be more different. I'm twenty years older (she could be my daughter!). I have seven children, she has five dogs (okay, so that's sort of alike).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: I have seven children, she has five dogs (okay, so that's sort of alike).

Heehee. Yep. Except you got the better deal. Yours grow up. Then again, by contrast, she can lock hers in the laundry room for an hour and not get picked up by child services! Hahah!

How lovely that you're friends, both as educators and writers. Love that.

BTW, age knows nothing about songs. I know that song and now will have it stuck in my head all day. Thanks...Grins.

Becke Davis said...

I sort of categorize my friends: the old friends from school, the friends I made in England, then the friends I made every other time we moved (which was a lot). Later there were PTO friends -- those friends who have kids around the same age as mine -- and now my writing friends. (Well, and Facebook friends, but that's a whole different subject.)

I met my critique partner at an RWA chapter meeting. We sat next to each other in a corner at the back of the room. It was my first meeting, her second. Like total newbies, we had brought printed copies of our stories with us. (I know, I know!) We did the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" thing. I read the first two paragraphs of hers, felt my face turn bright red and thought, "Holy shit!" Or maybe I said it out loud. I asked her to email me the story later, because it was too hot to read in mixed company. That story just came in second in a contest and she's had a request for it.

I'm still in touch with my best friend from age 11-14 and my best friend from 15 - 25+. We lost touch at various times over the years, but never for long. Those friends who knew you as a kid are irreplaceable, but the new friends are pretty great, too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bekce said: Those friends who knew you as a kid are irreplaceable, but the new friends are pretty great, too!

So true, Becke! I think its hard when you move around a lot, but you've obviously been able to keep making friends wherever you go! :> I had to LOL about the CP's book making you blush. Grins. Love that. I remember trying to decide if I should take my mss w/ me to the first WRW meeting I attended. I didn't, but I considered it!

Anna Campbell said...

Duchesse, what a gorgeous post! Loved it! And honestly, I'm so grateful the Bandits hooked up the way they did. You girls have really enriched my life - and not just the Bandits but the Bandit buddies and the cabana boys and Sven and...

Well, all right, I know the last two are imaginary but hey, they still enriched my life. Hic! Margaritas, anyone?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: and not just the Bandits but the Bandit buddies and the cabana boys and Sven and...
Well, all right, I know the last two are imaginary but hey, they still enriched my life. Hic! Margaritas, anyone?

Shhhhhh! Anna! They don't KNOW they're virtual. We don't want to hurt their feelings, you know? Grins. Besides, a virtual massage is better than no massage, right?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GRRREAT post, Duchese!

Wow, I'm impressed by how many folks still have friends from grade school and even earlier.

I do have one friend I met in 8th grade, but we've been out of touch for several years. She moved to the mid-west about 20 years ago and we haven't been very close since then.

I have one BFF whom I met in my very first writing class way back when my son was an infant. She was my "First Reader" for both Wild Sight and Treasures of Venice even though her preferred reading is non-fiction.

I've met a lot of BFFs in the workplace. One I've had the longest (since 1980) now lives in North Carolina but we still keep in touch mostly through email. Thank Heaven for the internet!! I've kept in touch with so many people, and met so many other wonderful folks, esp. the BBs because of the net!

Oh, and I met my DH at a 'singles event' that I went to because a friend from work dragged me there. I was actually dating someone else at the time, but not seriously...

AC

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey AC! Good to see you. :> Wow, 8th grade, that's cool. And that you keep up with your work pals, even when they move, is cool too.

Really cool on meeting you DH at a singles event. See, they DO work! Grins.

Becke Davis said...

Jeanne, this is off-topic but I just want to say how great it's been to have you visiting at the Mystery Book Club this month. You've broken all records for comments posted, and the view count is really high, too!

I wanted to invite Loucinda as a monthly featured author but the admins thought hers might be more romance than mystery. I got the okay to feature her (again) as a Tuesday Visiting Author in September, so I hope everyone will come by when she visits, too.

Also, I want to apologize on behalf of B&N. They've been beta-testing a new format for a couple days and a lot of things are messed up. They've posted a thread in the Community Room board for people to tell them the problems they've encountered (and to rant), and they are trying to address those issues quickly. Sorry that happened during your visit!

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on taking home the rooster. A lot of my friends are also ones I've known ever since I can remember.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jeanne--

Interesting post. I haven't really had a lot of those magic moments. As I said to Limecello, a lot of my friends, I've known so long that I don't remember meeting them.

I met Eilis Flynn over lunch. We already knew each other, sort of, through comic book fandom, and I'd met her then-future dh, also a fan, on a visit to NYC the previous winter. She moved to NYC, I came to visit another friend there, and the three of us from fandom went to lunch. At the end, her future dh said, "Well, I didn't need to say much" because she and I talked all through lunch and all the way back to her office on the sidewalk and the subway.

Gerri Russell and I met at a GH finalists' reception at National. We were both in the paranormal category and were the only two with books involving magic (this is when time travel and ghosts were big), and with Arthurian themes. She won that year with a wonderful book.

The dh and I met through mutual friends--for lunch, since I wasn't sure whether he might already have a girlfriend and felt I had enough honorary brothers, and he wasn't sure whether I was looking for someone to date or just to talk about common interests with. Lunch turned into three hours, we went out the next week, and two months later, we were engaged. That was 22 years ago, with the actual wedding anniversary coming up next month.

Nancy said...

Becke, thanks for letting us know the deal with B&N. I hope you'll remind us when Cindy drops in.

And Duchesse--whoo-hoo, you! Breaking records, and everything! Way to go!

Joan said...

We don't want to hurt their feelings, you know?

Yeah, but...they are so CUTE when they pout....

"There, there little cabana boy. Come to Joanie T...it's all right. Just lay your head right there...."

On my shoulder, people!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Afternoon, Jeanne! And "We love you, too, man!"

I was lucky to have a younger sister, who has been my close friend our whole lives. We've been through some pretty tough stuff together, that's for sure.

In the second grade I met Marion. We were instant acquaintance friends. We'd play together and were in Brownies together. But sadly, the next year we were in different classes. Then in the seventh grade we were walking home with a group of friends from middle school (and yes we walked to and from school back then even in the snow, only not up hill either way) and she and I realized how much we enjoyed each other's company and how much we'd roll our eyes at the boys trying to impress the "popular" girls in our group. We've been friends every since! We even became grandmothers the same year. She lives less than a mile from my parents, so I try to visit her everytime I'm home.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, that was story #1...

Story #2...

I have moved to two different states in the past 20 years, worked in seven different hospitals in 3 states in the past 30 years. Periodically someone from those other hospitals will contact me and we'll renew our friendship. Nursing has a way of bonding you. Luckily for me, my new boss is one of those I've stood knee-deep-in-bad-s**t with, and I count her as a good friend. She's also a beta reader for me and supports my efforts to get published! Now that's a friend/boss worth keeping!!

Tawny said...

Tawny, you yelled at him across the parking lot? And that worked? Grins.

ROFL
Well, I yelled more after the 'hey'. It was something along the lines of aren't you so-and-so's brother? how's it going? Short and sweet, really. Then I headed to my moms, went right into my brother's room and grilled him about James (is he still single? is he still employed? is he still wild?), and told him I wanted his phone number. My brother's weirdly old fashioned so said I couldn't call him, but if he was interested he'd give him my number. *g* He called the next day, we had our first date the day after that and spent every day until I was hospitalized with my pregnancy together.

You and Beth are the coolest pals. I know you've known one another forever, but how did you two meet? Hook up as writers first or friends first?

LOL -we kind of knew each other because we were in an online writing chapter together. My impression of Beth was sweet, quite, nice. (hey, she really is all of those things LOL - but I'm none, so there ya go) The chapter did this program where everyone posted a scene from their work-in-progress. I read Beth's and was blown away. It was gritty, snarky and so intense. I emailed her right away to rave and babble about her greatness and the rest, as they say, is history *g* We just clicked. Writing-wise, we're in the same groove. We have the same obsessions, same focuses and work-patterns and sense of humor. She sings, too. Gotta love a gal who can sing (me, can't carry a tune in a bucket).

Tawny said...

Anna said: Well, all right, I know the last two are imaginary but hey, they still enriched my life. Hic! Margaritas, anyone?

Ooooh, yes!!! I adore my imaginary friends. I had a whole cadre of them growing up and missed them terribly when I was 'too old' to play with them anymore. I think thats one of the great things about being a writer- so many imaginary friends to play with again!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Story #3...The Foxes

When I moved to Dallas, it took me a couple of years but I finally joined the Dallas Area Romance Authors group. I met Sandy Blair that first meeting, complete with her story of having written an 800 page manuscript. Oh. My. God. hehehe...But we became fast friends, coz Sandy is so hard not to love. Next came Julie Benson, Jane Graves, Tracy Garrett, Jo Davis (Who laughs at the same stuff I do, all the time!), Addison Fox, Alice Fairbanks-Burton, Lorraine Heath and Kay Thomas. My mini retreat partners, lunch mates, BBF's and those people to whom I go when stuff gets ugly, gets sad, make me laugh or I need someone to kick me in the butt and tell me to "pull up your big girl panties and deal with it".

Suzanne Welsh said...

Story #4...The Banditas

Wow, this is the story y'all have heard a hundred times. We finalled in the GH, a group of us started "chatting" on line, we said, let's start a blog...what's a blog?...how do we do it?...will anyone come? And poof here it is...

What you don't see, don't get to hear, although you do get a taste of it on the blog is...the craziness that happens on the loop. The laughter, the frustration, the tears, the cheers, the knowing that at 3 am when I need a shoulder to lean on Anna C., Christine or Anna S. will be hanging out, (Maybe Tawny or Kate or Jo or AC if they're staying up late). That Joanie and I can commisserate about stuff both writing and nursing like we've known each other for oh our whole lives. That Nancy has a thing for potted plants, Cassondra will arm us for a raid, Jeanne will help us hide bodies, Caren will make us dress stylishly, (even if JT has to steal her jacket to do so). THAT is one of the coolest things ever!!

Love y'all!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Becke, its been SO much fun to be your guest over at B&N. :> No worries on the tests, it happens.

No matter what, I had a BLAST! So glad AC's going to be there too. AC, and Becke, be sure to remind us when you'll be there so we can make your day record setting one too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Nancy! I love that about your DH. And I sooooo remember the "I don't need another honoray brother" thing. Jeeeesh. I had waaay too may of those. :>

And none of them offered to be cabana boys instead, so...kicked to the curb!

Cool about Ellis and Gerri. Great way to meet friends.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie T said: Yeah, but...they are so CUTE when they pout....

True, true. They are. Maybe Sven needs some consolation. Sven? SVEN!?!?

Nancy said...

Also, the banditas, of course. I wasn't one of the original ones. I think I might have been #19. But I've never clicked with such a diverse group of women so quickly. But I never actually met most of them until San Francisco. I already knew Caren. At the TGN retreat in Dallas, I met Joan, and we clicked about ancient Rome. So then I wondered if maybe they'd let me join. And they did, for which I'm grateful.

But I'm not sure if your meetings theme, Jeanne.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Suz! I love the story about Marion. I remember too, that feeling of rolling our eyes at the boys. How cool that you still know one another!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: She's also a beta reader for me and supports my efforts to get published! Now that's a friend/boss worth keeping!!

SOOOOO worth keeping! And wading through sh*t together will bond you quite tightly. Coool about her being a pre-reader for you. What did she think about Lacy?

Pat Cochran said...

I'm starting w/ the oldest BFF's:
my sisters whom I've known since
before they were born (I'm the
eldest.)We all live in Houston &
they are here when needed. Next is
a great group from Jeff Davis HS
Class of '54, especially those on
the Reunion Committee (we've been together 55 years.) There's Fran
& Pam whom I met in the '70s when
we volunteered w/ the band parents
@ Eisenhower HS, we lunch every
couple of months. BTW, we did all
things for band from spaghetti
suppers to altering uniform pants!
Can't forget the "church ladies."
Some of us have been friends for
the 35 years since the church was
established!

Lastly, but most important, Honey
and I met at a party in 1959. At one point, all those around us were seated except one young man. I invited him to share my chair &
he did. On the way home that night,
he told a friend that he (Ken)was
going to marry me & 2 years later
we were married. BTW, the BFF/
sisters were my attendants!

Pat Cochran

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Grins, Tawny! How cool about you and James. And I can just see you interrogating your brother. :>

Cool too about hooking up with Beth. So Beth can sing too? Let's see that makes at least 5 singers in the Lair.....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawny said: missed them terribly when I was 'too old' to play with them anymore.

Repeat after me: You are NEVER too old to play with your imaginary friends.

Ever.

Grins. SVENNNNN!!!?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: I need someone to kick me in the butt and tell me to "pull up your big girl panties and deal with it".

Grins. Always good to have THOSE friends. :> *waving, Hello Foxes!* We love them over here too, since they're fab writers, wonderful guests, and great friends.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: That Nancy has a thing for potted plants, Cassondra will arm us for a raid, Jeanne will help us hide bodies, Caren will make us dress stylishly, (even if JT has to steal her jacket to do so). THAT is one of the coolest things ever!!

MWAH!! Love you too, Suz!! And any time you need a body hidden...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: But I'm not sure if your meetings theme, Jeanne.

I'm not sure what you mean, but we're all cohesive even tho' we'd yet to meet everyone until San Fran, and some hadn't met Christie until this year. Pretty cool!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pat said: I invited him to share my chair & he did. On the way home that night, he told a friend that he (Ken)was going to marry me & 2 years later we were married.

Oh, Pat, that's great! :> I love it.

I love it too that you were the Band Moms. That's a thankless job because the band director's too harried, and the kids don't think to thank you for keeping them from tripping on their hems or looking like dorks in highwaters.

So, from a one-time-bandie to you, THANK YOU!!! Grins. (Gotta say tho that I hated those band uniforms. URG)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jeanne asked...What did she think about Lacy? Well she's only read the first 100 pages, but loved it. She's super busy and of course CAN'T read LACY at work, so I'm going to give her her own autographed copy WHEN some editor is brilliant enough to buy it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: so I'm going to give her her own autographed copy WHEN some editor is brilliant enough to buy it!

Which is going to happen SOON! *fanning self* Ohhhhh, yeah. That one's gonna sell. :>

Beth said...

We just clicked. Writing-wise, we're in the same groove. We have the same obsessions, same focuses and work-patterns and sense of humor. She sings, too. Gotta love a gal who can sing (me, can't carry a tune in a bucket).

LOL! We did just sort of click. We had chatted via email a few times and I clearly remember emailing Tawny to congratulate her on one of her MANY contest finals before the clicking happened.

I was in awe of her writing and fabulous personality. Hey, I'm still in awe! And don't let her fool you. She's one of the nicest people around :-)

As to how I met my husband...well...I met him in a bar ;-) And seeing as how I wasn't technically old enough to be in said bar, it was an interesting night *g*

Louisa Cornell said...

Lime caught everybody's friend, the GR !! Make him behave!

Fabulous post as usual my dear, dear friend and fellow Duchesse!

Being an Air Force brat I didn't get to keep many of the friends I made as I grew up. We traveled so much it made it hard to do.

I met my DH when I was his student teacher, believe it or not! He was a senior in high school and I was the older (by two years) woman. I actually dated his best friend for a year before I dated him. It really worked out well as Roger and I were friends for a couple of years before we started dating. That friendship never left us. He's still my best friend.

I have been so lucky to meet so many of my best friends through my writing adventures. I met La Campbell on the Avon FanLit loop and it really was a lucky, lucky day for me. She is just the best friend and mentor a person can have. And she's as rowdy and wacky as I am which makes for loads of fun when we see each other! MWHA ! AC

All of the Banditas have been SO good to me and such good friends. I love to stop by here because I know we will have fun, share a laugh, some tears and always be there for each other. Can't beat that any day of the week. Love y'all!

MY CP and met through the Avon FanLit event as well. She really is the sister destiny forgot to give me. She isn't afraid to give me hard time or argue with me. She is ALWAYS there when I need her. Every good thing I have accomplished in writing has been because she has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. She is just the best! We talk to each other at least once a day and are usually online writing together every night. If her husband sees her online or on the phone he doesn't even ask anymore. He just says "Tell Pam I said hello."

Another dear, dear friend to me who never fails to pick up the phone and call me no matter what the hour is the Divine Diane Gaston. She and I became friends through the Wet Noodle Posse. I won a critique of my first GH entry - Lost in Love on the WNP Blog and Diane has been an endless source of advice and encouragement ever since.

The ladies of Broad Strokes - our hometown writing group met through our local bookstore. I didn't even know there was one when I moved back to Wetumpka - bookstore that is. And Tammy has since had to close it. But the six of us met through the bookstore and have been writing buddies, fast friends and in the case of Tammy, Jeanie and I RWA conference traveling buddies ever since!

I really am a truly lucky person when it comes to my friends.

Joan said...

some hadn't met Christie until this year. Pretty cool!

I was one who hadn't but from the first "Hello" I felt as if I'd known her all my life....a friendship that fit like a glove.

And awwww, Suz...right back at ya.

Yanno, I was kind of reliving our adventures in DC when I saw all the sights we traveled to during the coverage of Teddy's funeral.

I kept saying to my brother "Suz and I were there...and there...and there" I tried to squint through the gathering dusk to point out the concession stand where we got our daily hot dog.

See, whenever we start talking about the cohesiveness of this Bandita group it kindles the fire in me to build a HUGE Bandita compound so we can all hand together....

It'll be attached to the Home for Despairing Cabana Boys that I will found when I win the lottery tonight.

jo robertson said...

Been meaning to get back to this lovely blog all day, but was meeting with my BFF (snort) about school and writing.

I love the story of how I met my husband. During college we were introduced and I wasn't much impressed with him -- tall, skinny, big ears, tee hee. He asked me out. I said yes. Later I decided I just didn't feel like going out with him so I call and cancelled, was going to write it off. Then over the phone I heard this lovely, deep, resonant, masculine voice and I was hooked.

And the rest is history. BTW, he grew into that lovely voice and I think he's quite handsome now :-D.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth said: As to how I met my husband...well...I met him in a bar ;-) And seeing as how I wasn't technically old enough to be in said bar, it was an interesting night *g*

Hahaha! Now, I know you and I have never been in a bar when we were under age. :> Right? Heehee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa said: I actually dated his best friend for a year before I dated him. It really worked out well as Roger and I were friends for a couple of years before we started dating. That friendship never left us. He's still my best friend.

Awww, this is so lovely, Louisa. You femme fatale you. Grins.

Had to LOL about your friend's hubby saying "say hello to Pam"! Hahah! My DH does this with my sister. If I'm on the phone, he'll say, "Hello, Sistah!" Haha!

We all love La Campbell, and Diane Gaston is one of the most delightful people too. :> She's in my local chapter and I agree she's one of the most supportive writers ever.

Broad Strokes - what a great name for a writers group!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie T: It'll be attached to the Home for Despairing Cabana Boys that I will found when I win the lottery tonight.

Grins. What a delicious charity to found, Joanie!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: Then over the phone I heard this lovely, deep, resonant, masculine voice and I was hooked.


Ohhh, yeah. That'll do it. I just adore a deep resonant voice...Go, Dr. Big!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely stories today! It was fun to spend the day with yoU! :>

Becke Davis said...

Jeanne - I know this is late, but you know how you suddenly remember things days later? It suddenly hit me that I never thanked you for the shout-out in this post. Now I'm both blushing and kicking myself for being late, since it was lovely of you to do that. I hope you see this, and I'm sooo sorry to be late!